Rabbi Peter Schaktman, who currently serves as the rabbi for Temple Emanu-El in Utica, has joined the Chaplaincy at Hamilton College for several hours a week during the spring semester, Chaplain Jeff McArn has announced.
Schaktman will work with Jewish Chaplain Anat Guez providing support and assistance to the College’s Jewish community, McArn said. He will preside over Shabbats and other religious services, and supplement the spiritual guidance offered by Guez, who remains a lecturer in Hebrew at the College in addition to serving as Jewish chaplain.
“We are delighted Rabbi Schaktman has joined the Hamilton community this semester to provide additional support and guidance for our Jewish students,” said Vice President and Dean of Students Terry Martinez. “He has attended events on campus in the past and is already familiar to many members of Hillel.”
Rabbi Schaktman will join with Chaplain Guez and the campus Jewish community to celebrate a special Shabbat dinner on Friday, Jan. 31, in the Fillius Events Barn with musical guest Noah Aronson. The event is open to all members of the Hamilton community.
In addition to serving as rabbi for Temple Emanu-El since 2017, Schaktman is a key member of the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, and received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute, where he recently received an honorary doctorate. Since his ordination, he has served congregations in Hawai'i, Texas, Louisiana, and New York.
Rabbi Schaktman is certified in chemical dependency and spiritual counseling. Prior to becoming a rabbi, he spent two years living in an Israeli Arab village as a community worker in Arab-Jewish relations with the Interns for Peace program. He also spent a number of years working on the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism in Manhattan.
Martinez said Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Maria Genao-Homs will work with McArn during the spring semester to create a strategic plan for the on-going development and support of all faith-based programs supported by the Chaplain’s Office.